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Event news: Sarah Chang recital (and dinner) in aid of British Red Cross

Sarah Chang will be performing an interesting programme in aid of the British Red Cross. There’s a super-deluxe upgrade option available if you want to have dinner in a nearby ambassadorial residence. We’re not told which one.

An evening of classical music with Sarah Chang in aid of the British Red Cross

12 October 2015, 6:15pm reception | 7:15pm concert
Tickets: £25 concert only | £125 concert and dinner | £150 reception, concert and dinner
Booking details:
Booking deadline: 8 October 2015
Venue: St Paul’s Church – Knightsbridge, 32A Wilton Place, London, SW1X 8SH

Sarah Chang. Photo credit: Cliff Watt
Sarah Chang. Photo credit: Cliff Watt

World-renowned violinist Sarah Chang will perform works by Ravel, Vitali and Leonard Bernstein at a concert on Monday 12 October at St Paul’s Church Knightsbridge, to raise funds for the Red Cross.

The famous Korean-American virtuosa, accompanied by American pianist Julio Elizalde, will be performing Chaconne by Vitali, Bernstein’s West Side Story and Tzigane by Ravel.

Sarah Chang said, “It is wonderful to be able to start my European tour with this recital. I find the work the Red Cross does very inspiring and I am proud to perform for them. I have supported the charity for many years, having previously performed at Red Cross gala balls, and I am thrilled the money raised will help the essential work of the Red Cross.”

The concert is being organised by the International Fundraising Committee of the British Red Cross. The International Fundraising Committee, chaired by Maria Shammas MBE, has raised millions of pounds for the Red Cross over the last 20 years.

Maria Shammas MBE said, “We are delighted to have one of the world’s great violinists in concert and are very grateful to Sarah Chang for donating her performance. It promises to be a wonderful event featuring some of the most beautiful music for violin. Join us for this his his unique evening of classical splendour and help unique evening of classical splendour and help support people in crisis.”

The British Red Cross has recently launched a Europe Refugee Crisis Appeal and responded to disasters including the Ebola crisis, the devastating Nepal earthquake and the on-going conflicts in Syria and Yemen. The Red Cross has also been hard at work closer to home –teaching first aid, providing ambulance support, helping people get back on their feet after a stay in hospital, and in many other areas. Funds raised through the concert will help the Red Cross to continue its work across the world.

There are a limited number of tickets available at £125, which include a post-concert dinner at an Ambassadorial Residence. Tickets are also available for the concert only, priced at £25. The show will start at 7.15pm at St Paul’s Church Knightsbridge. To find out more or to buy your tickets, please visit


Tomaso Antonio Vitali (1663 – 1745): Chaconne in G minor

Vitali was an Italian composer and violinist from Bologna, the eldest son of Giovanni Battista Vitali. He is known mainly for a chaconne in G minor for violin and continuo, which was published from a manuscript in the Sächsische Landesbibliothek in Dresden in Die Hoch Schule des Violinspiels (1867) edited by German violinist Ferdinand David). The work’s wide-ranging modulations into distant keys have raised speculation that it could not be a genuine baroque work.

Joseph Maurice Ravel (1875 – 1937): “Tzigane”

Ravel the French composer, pianist and conductor is often associated with impressionism along with his elder contemporary Claude Debussy, although both composers rejected the term. In the 1920s and ’30s Ravel was internationally regarded as France’s greatest living composer.

Tzigane is a rhapsodic composition commissioned by Hungarian violinist Jelly d’Arányi, great-niece of the influential violin virtuoso Joseph Joachim. The original instrumentation was for violin and piano (with optional luthéal attachment). The first performance took place in London on April 26, 1924. Ravel described Tzigane as “a virtuoso piece in the style of a Hungarian rhapsody,” and it draws on both authentic gypsy music and the westernized style hongrois familiar to classical music since Haydn’s day. (Tzigane derived from the Hungarian, is the French word for “gypsy.”)

Leonard Bernstein (1918 – 1990): West Side Story

Bernstein was an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the United States of America to receive worldwide acclaim. According to music critic Donal Henahan, he was “one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history.”

West Side Story, the American musical with book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, libretto/lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and conception and choreography by Jerome Robbins needs no introduction. It was inspired by William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The original 1957 Broadway production, marked Sondheim’s Broadway debut. It ran for 732 performances before going on tour. The production was nominated for six Tony Awards including Best Musical in 1957. The show had an even longer-running London production, a number of revivals and international productions. A 1961 musical film directed by Robert Wise and Robbins, starring Natalie Wood was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and won ten, including Best Picture.

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